Objectives: We conducted an in vivo trial on swine to compare the ablation volumes of irreversible electroporation (IRE) followed by drug-eluting beads transarterial chemoembolization (DEB-TACE) versus IRE only. Materials and Methods: Nine swine underwent CT-guided IRE in one liver lobe and IRE immediately followed by DEB-TACE in a different liver lobe. For DEB-TACE, 100–300 µm beads (DC-Beads ® ) were loaded with 50 mg doxorubicin. For IRE, the NanoKnife ® was used employing two electrodes according to the vendor’s protocol. Imaging follow-up was performed including CT-based lesion volume assessment using contrast-enhanced CT (venous phase) on days 1, 3, and 7 after the procedure. Three animals were killed for histopathological analysis after each follow-up. Results: Ablation volumes in CT in the IRE + DEB-TACE group were 15.4 ± 10.5 ml on day 1, 8.7 ± 5.6 ml on day 3, and 1.6 ± 0.7 ml on day 7. In the IRE group, the corresponding values were 5.2 ± 5.2 ml on day 1, 1.0 ± 1.2 ml on day 3, and 0.1 ± 0.1 ml on day 7. On day 1 and day 3, ablation volumes of IRE + TACE group were significantly larger than in the IRE group (p < 0.05). 96% of beads were depicted in or around ablative lesions. 69% of these beads were found in the surrounding hemorrhagic infiltration and 31% within the ablative lesion itself. Conclusions: Combination of IRE immediately followed by DEB-TACE resulted in larger ablation volumes compared to IRE alone, suggesting that local efficacy of IRE can be enhanced by post-IRE DEB-TACE.
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